Bedrooms 2, Sleeps 4, Ratings 1 10/10
This location has multiple holiday properties
|Chez Le Charpentier||Self Catering||Flexible||2||3||1|
Chez le Charpentier - or The Carpenter's Cottage.
We are very flexible about arrival and departure dates, so you are not restricted to Saturdays.
Le Clos du Verger is situated in a rural environment of woods, vineyards and grazing meadows yet is less than 10 minutes by car from the lovely town of Bergerac and the Dordogne river. A range of flights from the UK comes to Bergerac and Bordeaux airports or, if you are driving, the routes are straight forward from Caen, St Malo or Le Havre. We usually take a night ferry and arrive here mid afternoon after an unhurried drive but one of these days we will try the Portsmouth ferry to Northern Spain and drive through the Pyrenees and Basque country before returning here. The nearest motorway exit is just 15 minutes away.
Some guests find such pleasure in the accommodation and its surroundings that they don't venture far at all, but if your aim is to to explore the many attractions of this beautiful corner of France you will find that we are ideally situated as a convenient base - Bergerac ring road is just 5 minutes drive and the landscapes change in each direction.
We offer 2 holiday cottages. The "Chai" is the former wine barn (le chai means the wine barn in French). It is single storey and sleeps 4 people. "Chez le Charpentier" (the carpenter's cottage) sleeps 3 people, with the option of an extra bed or cot for a fourth person. The main L shape of buildings incorporates the 2 holiday homes and the farmhouse. Cars are kept to one side so that the gardens and grounds are car free. We have over a hectare of land, dropping gently to the stream, with our small herd of goats in the paddocks, a round walk for our guests, and a recreation area by the stream.
Out and About:
This area of south-west France has an extremely rich and varied historical heritage dating back to early man, and an active modern cultural life. You will be seduced by the caves and prehistoric sites including the Lascaux cave paintings. Drop into fascinating old villages and so many magical medieval castles, and be further intrigued by the references and memories of war time resistance of the Second World War.
We provide maps and guide books as well as cycle and walking routes. Enjoy the local festivals, the vineyards, the lively markets, the wealth of specialist shops, the walks, the dining, the boat trips and canoeing, a nearby swimming lake, and the possibility of bike hire deliveries. We can link you to bird watching, art, wine-tasting and photography courses if you are interested. Bergerac has a packed summer programme, much of it free. Or just enjoy your evening apéritif on your terrace - many guests love just to relax here.
Out of Season:
In the colder months, you get a real bargain! There is still warmth in the winter sun but the underfloor heating and the wood burning stove will keep you warm and cosy. We do not charge extra for heating. Many of the famous sites are still open. We were amazed to find we had the world famous Lascaux cave painting visit to ourselves when we went in early December. For Christmas stays the Christmas markets and decorations add to the sense of warmth and well being. For Christmas bookings we provide a Christmas tree and special treats in the Welcome Basket.
Le Clos du Verger and its holiday accommodation:
The Clos du Verger is all quite low key and relaxing, and that is part of the charm, although behind the scenes we pay great attention to providing you with an attractive, clean and comfortable holiday home with pretty outdoor spaces. The 2 holiday homes each have a completely different style, dictated by the architecture. "Chez le charpentier" is cottage styled. It is well presented, well equipped and easy to use, and is suitable for any time of the year. Beds are comfortable - the single bed is higher so easier to get in and out of if you have creaky legs, although bear in mind that the stairs to the first floor are fairly steep. We can provide an extra single bed if required at an extra charge of £25. The kitchen is equipped for real cooking, and the garden furnished for outside living in the summer months. There is good WiFi internet access covered by 2 separate high speed links.
When we arrived the buildings had been abandoned for so long that we had to install water, electricity, heating and drainage so, wherever possible, we have set up environmentally friendly technologies. Underfloor heating and constant hot water are very efficiently fuelled by heat taken from the ground, and half our electricity usage is produced by photovoltaic panels. Each property has a wood burning stove and we provide wood as part of the rental price.
We provide toiletries, towels and bed linen, and for those arriving by plane we can also provide dressing gowns. Each property has maps and tourist information, as well as our own guide of local things to see and do and places to eat. We live on the site too so one of us is usually available if you need advice and help, or just fancy a chat.
One large room incorporates the sitting, dining and kitchen spaces. French windows open onto the terrace and garden.
Dining area with table for 4.
Kitchen - well equipped with fridge, freezer, electric oven and hob, dishwasher, microwave, kettle, toaster, food processor. We provide a welcome basket of local foods and wine so that you have enough for a snack meal. Tea towels, washing up products, and basic condiments also provided.
Washing machine in separate guest laundry.
Entrance from garden terrace into the living room that runs from front to back of the cottage.
The sitting area by French windows is arranged round the woodburning stove in the hearth.
The TV works on a UK free-to-view Sky satellite link, or you can easily swap to the French satellite connection if you want to watch French TV programmes.
There is also a DVD player, CD/radio, books and games, tourist guides and maps.
Cottage stairs to upstairs (standard French but some may find them steep).
Double bedroom with wide double bed (160 cm), chests of drawers, walk-in wardrobe. All bedlinen provided and beds made up for your arrival.
Large single bedroom with 90 cm wide (3') single bed and clothes storage, and space for an extra single bed (at small extra charge).
Wide landing with extra clothes storage.
Shower room on first floor, plenty of room - with walk-in shower, washbasin, wc, shaver point.
Central heating - radiators upstairs, underfloor heating downstairs - normally on between mid October and mid May except if the weather is unusually mild.
Woodburner, and large box of wood provided.
Dvd, tv, cd/radio, small library of books and dvds.
Ball games area away from the buildings, by the stream.
Enclosed garden with terrace and lawned area with shrubs and trees. The garden features a lovely pergola with dining table and chairs. Terrace furniture includes informal seating.
Gas Barbecue provided.
Off-road parking in the car park - your car will be within your sight.
Note there are steepish stairs in this property. Please contact us if you wish to discuss whether the cottage will suit your party.
Flexible arrival and departure days.
Bike hire can be arranged with a local firm.
End of Stay Cleaning, if you don't want to lift a finger, is an additional 35 euros.
We never intended moving to France, but the abandoned farm house and buildings seduced us! Our French neighbours have been most welcoming and are delighted to see the site back in use. This is very much our home, we married in the village, and love living here. It gives us a great buzz that visitors from all over the world choose one of our gites for their holidays, and we work hard behind the scenes to make sure that the gites live up to your expectations.
|Year property purchased||2009|
|Why this location?||A bit of land, several buildings, kind neighbours, in the country to suit our rural lifestyle, but easy access to a thriving and attractive town for a bit of extra pizzazz!|
|Unique benefits of property||A comfortable and well presented holiday cottage makes a relaxing choice for a holiday base. Add to that the mix of town and country, the range of outdoor activities close at hand, the wide choice of local restaurants, the beautiful countryside, the amazing history of the area, and the vineyards - all within easy reach - and you have a full pot of choices for your days out. Bergerac has a busy programme of events - and much of it is free, especially in the summer evenings. Check on our Facebook page Le Clos du Verger for ideas. Or you may be happy to laze away your days without going anywhere much - many visitors do just that, for they enjoy the natural setting, meals on the terrace or in the local village restaurants, the walks and bike hire, and summer swimming in a nearby lake.|
We leave a booklet in the property with a variety of suggestions of things to see and do within half an hour's drive. This includes the treetop adventure course 10 minutes drive away, and the country park and swimming lake just outside Bergerac, as well as many canoeing options, walks, historical visits and vineyard visits.
Old town and port
Layers of history to explore, starting with the medieval buildings of the old town. During the summer months the old port and the main squares throughout the town centre buzz with a variety of summer events, many completely free.
The river was absolutely vital to the town's development as a centre for the wine industry. Timber for barrel making came from upstream and wine could be exported down river towards Bordeaux. The Maison des Vins overlooking the old port is a great place to ask for an introduction to a few of the local wines.
Canoe hire and boat trips are available from the old port during the summer months.
Join the French way of spending the summer! Just outside Bergerac, 10 minutes drive from us, is the parc de Pombonne. This is a countryside park with jogging routes, and footpaths winding through trees and meadows. At the centre of it all are the lakes - one dedicated to wildlife, the other used as a free swimming lake during the summer months. There is a "guingette" just behind the swimming beach, providing ice creams, snack meals, drinks and on some evenings live music. And to burn off any excess energy there is a rustic play area including a zip wire.
There are many opportunities for an active holiday.
Many of our visitors enjoy hiring canoes during their stay. The Dordogne river is beautiful to explore by canoe and there are many businesses along its length offering canoe hire. The nearest is 15 minutes away.
Another way to explore is on horseback. There are two excellent riding schools nearby where you can hack out through the hills, valleys and forests. You may need some previous riding experience.
And as for cyclists, a paradise of discoveries awaits you as you explore the country lanes and little villages around us, and maybe stopping off at a country restaurant for a bite of lunch. We provide links to local bike hire companies, as well as maps and we can advise on possible routes. Or follow the world's top riders - the Tour de France passed right by our door a couple of years ago and their route is keenly followed by regular groups of cyclists. It takes you up past Maurens and through the beautiful forests to the quaint little town of Villamblard.
There are three great markets that we enjoy, but others good ones around too. This is a foody area with wonderful local produce from the orchards, market gardens and vineyards. Add to that the exceptional local meat and patés, the cèpes and other mushrooms direct from the forest, the products from the walnut groves, the semi dried prunes from the plum orchards - why would anyone buy from the supermarkets (although many of these also source their produce locally)?
Bergerac market was voted as one of the top markets in France last year and takes place round the church and in the old town on Wednesday and is particlarly good on Saturday mornings. My favourite there is the bearded man with the tiniest of stalls selling portions of delicious home made walnut tart.
For Saturday arrivals we often recommend a visit to the splendid Sunday market in the wonderful medieval village of Issigeac (within a half hour drive).
And I've recently discovered the Saturday market at St Foy la Grande is well worth a visit.
Very peaceful but a few kilometres from the lovely town of Bergerac. Jane and Martin were welcoming, kind, helpful and hospitable.
The kitchen was extremely well equipped and the attention to detail in other parts of the cottage was second to none.
We loved sitting by the stream in the early evening with a glass of something!
I would certainly recommend it.
Thank you so much for your review. We thoroughly enjoyed having you here and hope the rest of your travels were equally pleasant. With very best wishes from Jane and Martin
Jane and Martin were perfect hosts, there knowledge of the area was first class. The gite had everything you could wish for. They can and should be very proud of what they have achieved, they have made most peoples dreams a reality. I would have no problem in recommending the gite to anyone who wants a lovely relaxing quiet holiday in this most beautiful part of France.
Once again Jane and Martin for providing such a beautiful place to holiday in.
John and Caroline.
Thank you so much for your kind words. So glad we helped you have a good holiday. We miss you being here! Hope you'll be back. Best wishes from us both, J&M
Lovely gite ideal for the two of us although we found the stairs very narrow and steep. there was pretty much everything you would need and on arrival it was lovely to find, bread, milk, butter, cheese and homemade jam and tea and coffee to get us started in fact everything we needed before going shopping the next morning.
Thank you so much for choosing to stay with us. We very much enjoyed meeting you both and hope that you may be able to return one day.
We perfectly understand that the stairs were a difficulty for you. I have checked the advert to make sure that we did mention that some people will find the stairs are steep (infact it is pointed out twice) and I was particularly concerned when you arrived that you might find them a difficulty so it is as well that we have raised the point again here for the benefit of future guests. I will add a photo to our description to help clarify. Any future guest reading this might wish to just check with me before booking if they have concerns as I am always very happy to discuss individual requirements.
My husband and I have spent many years travelling around France and this property is one of the best.
Absolutely perfect for us.
The property was very well maintained, there was everything you needed in the kitchen. The lounge/dining room was well furnished and everywhere was sparkly clean on arrival, plus there was a lovely welcome gift waiting for us. it was like staying in a proper home.
The owners Jane and Martin were fabulous, nothing was too much trouble. Lovely lovely people. They were hospitable and so helpful. We have no hesitation in recommending this property and it's owners. We can't wait to go back.
Thank you for a lovely review - you came as strangers but left as friends! We thoroughly enjoyed your time with us.
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